- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 30, 2014

Five questions facing the Redskins as they face Minnesota on Sunday:

1. Who’s the quarterback? Right now, all signs point to Robert Griffin III making his return after missing six games because of a dislocated left ankle. Griffin has been able to complete a full practice each of the past two days, and if he doesn’t feel any adverse effects, he’ll get the nod over Colt McCoy, who replaced Kirk Cousins in the second half of a victory against Tennessee and helped the Redskins claim an overtime victory at Dallas on Monday.

2. What does this mean for the offense? Griffin wasn’t particularly in sync with his receivers during his limited preseason snaps, and the opener at Houston wasn’t especially stellar, either. The Redskins will essentially be starting over with a new quarterback, and how Griffin handles the pass rush, finds his timing with his receivers and makes responsible decisions will be crucial to his success.

3. Is the running game improving? Alfred Morris on Monday scored his first touchdown since Week 4, and the 123 yards gained on the ground by the Redskins against the Cowboys were the most they’ve had since Week 2. It’s a positive trend for the offense, which will face the 17th-ranked rushing defense on Sunday.

4. Will the defense remain aggressive? Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett admitted the frequent blitzing against Dallas was “over the top a little bit,” but the strategy worked. The Redskins kept quarterback Tony Romo off balance, hitting him nine times, including five sacks. The game plan will likely be different Sunday, but the challenge will be making sure the defense is still productive.

5. What would a win do for this team? The Redskins have struggled against Minnesota in recent seasons, dropping three of their last four meetings — all in the last four years — and squandering a 13-point lead on the road last season in a loss. If Washington can earn a victory, it would enter the bye week on a three-game winning streak and have a chance to reach .500 on Nov. 17 against Tampa Bay.

• Zac Boyer can be reached at zboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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